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FOLKESTONE MISS THEIR CHANCES AS BOTTOM OF THE TABLE HILLIANS RUN THEM TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Invicta celebrate the opening goal against Burgess Hill at the Fullicks Stadium yesterday (pic DON LINKIN)

FOLKESTONE INVICTA 1 BURGESS HILL TOWN 1

Invicta missed their chance to go clear second in the Bostik Premier Division when old rivals Burgess Hill went back to Sussex with a point in a game that could easily have gone either way at the Fullicks Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors made the better start but fluffed their first half chances before Ade Yusuff '(PICTURED) pounced on an error by the experienced Gary Charman as the striker cut in from the left of the penalty box but curled his shot just wide of the far post.

Keeper Josh James had again denied Johan Ter Horst, early on - just as he had in last weekend’s FA Cup tie against the same opponents.

But on 37 minutes Yusuff spurned a golden chance when former Horsham manager Charman was adjudged to have fouled the lively Ter Horst only for Yusuff to fire his spot-kick high and wide without testing the impressive Hillians’ keeper.

Folkestone finally broke the deadlock on the hour when Yusuff found the net following a good build-up between Jack Evans and Ian Draycott.

But 10 minutes later Dan Beck levelled for Ian Chapman’s side who are surely better than their current position, rock bottom of the table.

Beck had taken over the armband after Chapman’s formidable skipper Gary Elphick limped out of the action, only to be replaced by the even bigger James Richmond – last season’s player of the year at Burgess Hill who had only re-signed for the club earlier in the week after trying his luck elsewhere.

Yusuff’s return to the side after a two-game ban saw him replace young Kane Rowland in the Invicta starting line-up which this time also included Phil Starkey in place of Nat Blanks whose foot operation in Friday seems to have gone well.

But Folkestone were again without playmaker Sam Hasler with suspected food poisoning and the midfielder with manager Neil Cugley awaiting further news on the player’s health but not expecting him to play in the next two games – Tuesday’s league cup tie at Ashford and next weekend’s friendly at Hasler’s former club, Herne Bay.

Looking back on yesterday’s game Cugs said: “Yes – we’d have been clear second if we’d won, but at least we went up a place (to fourth in the table) and are level with four teams below leaders Tonbridge.”

But the manager is concerned that his attack-minded side are not scoring more. “People suggest we are too attacking a side at times, but we’ve only scored twice in the last four games and that is a bit of a worry.”

Invicta: Roberts; Starkey, Newman, Vincent, Davies, Evans, Draycott, Dolan, Ter Horst, Yusuff, McCann (Paxman 84).

Subs not used: Aboabye, Rowland, Everitt, Shaw

Referee: Ian Fissenden

Attendance: 414